Hays music teacher to be inducted into Kansas Teacher HOF

The honor is a career achievement for Gloria Blackwell.
Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 8:05 PM CDT
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HAYS, Kan. (KWCH) - A Hays music teacher from Wilson Elementary School soon will be inducted into the Kansas Teacher Hall of Fame. The honor is a career achievement for Gloria Blackwell, but even after 48 years, she doesn’t plan to retire yet.

Blackwell has spent half of her career teaching at Wilson Elementary. It’s there that she still has a passion for passing along a love of music to children as young as five years old.

“I have, like my room shows, lots of different instruments, and I start with my kindergartners and we start playing percussion instruments, drums mostly,” she said.

Current and former students say they’ve been luck to be in Blackwell’s class. With an outpouring of gratitude, Wilson Elementary School Principal Anita Scheve said she knew what she needed to do.

“I get emails about different recognitions, and when this came through, it mentioned Kansas Teacher Hall of Fame, and I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving,” Scheve said of Blackwell.

Eight Kansas teachers per year are inducted into the hall of fame. Blackwell said she’s honored to be among them.

“I said, ‘this humbles me,’” she said. It really does, because it’s special.”

For now, Blackwell said she’s not sure how much longer she’ll continue to teach as her career approaches the half-century mark.

“I don’t see teaching another 48 years, I’ll just put it at that. I don’t know where the end is at yet,” she said.

Blackwell said it’s been a fulfilling journey.

“I mean, it is hard work, but there’s so much reward when you see those kids become successful,” she said.

Blackwell will formally be inducted into the Kansas Teacher Hall of Fame June 2 in Dodge City.